You would think Petronella’s sixteenth birthday would be cause for celebration. After all, fashionable friends are arriving at her country estate near London, teas are being served, and her coming out party promises to be a resplendent affair. Everything is falling nicely into place, until, suddenly—it isn’t. For Petronella discovers that her guardian, Uncle Augustus T. Percival, has developed a most unVictorian compulsion: He must eat bugs. Worse still, because he is her guardian, Uncle Augustus is to attend her soiree and his current state will most definitely be an embarrassment.
During the festivities, when Petronella would much rather be sharing pleasantries with handsome Lord James Sinclair (swoon), important guests are disappearing, kidnapping notes are appearing, many of the clues are insects, and Uncle Augustus is surreptitiously devouring evidence. It’s more than one sixteen-year-old girl should have to deal with. But, truth be told, there is far more yet to come . . . -GoodReads
I love it! I read this book all in one sitting, and was perfectly delighted with every chapter. The absurd plot and witty banter are just perfection! There are so many imaginative details in this book that all come together for a truly interesting plot. The writing is so dignified and humorous; it’s like this sugary froth of words.
I adore Uncle Augustus, and I liked how sweet and caring he is to his niece. His insect “problem” was just hilarious! I loved seeing his character develop throughout the story.
Petronella is just wonderful; she’s brave and full of humor and curiosity. I especially loved it when she would get angry, and quietly “cut” someone with either a sharp remark or her extreme politeness to them. She is poised and in control no matter the wild circumstances, and above all, she uses that brilliant brain of hers to save the day.
I did get a little tired of her raptures over the handsome James, but that was nicely counter-pointed by her occasional annoyance with him too.
I loved Petronella’s friendship with Jane! Those two are just charming, planning escapades in cahoots with each other. I want to be BFFs with them! My favorite was when they would exchange this knowing look, like they have little secrets amongst themselves, and have a perfect understanding of each other’s thoughts and feelings. They are a delightful example of true friendship.
I really liked James. He is written with such a crisp balance to him. Sometimes he’s smart, and sometimes he’s a bit slow. He’s always gentlemanly, gallant, brave, and resourceful. He’s a little thoughtless, but not selfish. He says the witty thing, but he’s never rude or mean. He truly cares about people. He is almost too perfectly heroic for interest, but has a spark to him that makes him really appealing. I can see why Petronella likes him!
I can’t wait to read more about Petronella! I want to live inside Jen Corace’s illustrations. So beautiful!